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 Ruth Esther Lounsbury

Ruth Esther Lounsbury

Elmwood, Tuscola County, Michigan, USA
Death 6 May 1940 (aged 17)
Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan, USA
Burial Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan, USA
Plot Section 4, Block 1, Lot 414, Plot 8
Memorial ID 100338292 · View Source
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Co-Valedictorian Fatally Injured by Auto Monday

Ruth Lounsbury, Honor Student, Died 10 Minutes After Reaching Hospital

Miss Ruth Esther Lounsbury, 17, co-valedictorian of the Class of 1940, Cass City High School, was fatally injured when struck by an automobile on M-81 Monday afternoon. She had left a school bus in front of the farm home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Emory Lounsbury, 1 ¾ miles west of Cass City, and as she went around the front of the vehicle to cross the highway, she was struck by a car driven by Robert L. Maxson, 24, of Saginaw, district sales representative of the Olds Motor Car Company. The bus was headed west and Maxson was traveling in the same direction. Miss Lounsbury died 10 minutes after she reached Pleasant Home Hospital where she was rushed from the scene of the accident in Mr. Maxson's car. Her injuries consisted of a fractured neck, a compound fracture of the left leg below the knee and bruises about the head and body.

Examination of the Maxson automobile indicated that it had struck the student with a front fender and lamp and the body had been lifted onto the front of the car. The impact, a witness said, had hurled the young lady about 25 feet into the air.

Robert L. Maxson, driver of the car that hit Miss Lounsbury, was taken to Caro by state police for questioning by Prosecutor Timothy C. Quinn. He admitted driving past a standing school bus at a rate of speed between 60 and 65 miles an hour. He was released on bond for arraignment in circuit court here next Monday on the charge on negligent homicide. The accident occurred within a school zone area marked by signs on M-81. The Dillman grade school is within a short distance of the Lounsbury home.

As far as can be learned, Roy Wright, the bus driver, had used all necessary precautions to avoid an accident. He had stopped to permit three children of the Lounsbury family to leave the bus by the front door. Ruth had bidden the driver good-night and was the first to leave. Harlan and Vera Lounsbury followed their sister, and as they were bidding Mr. Wright good-bye, he heard a crash as the car hit the girl. Ruth, Mr. Wright had often observed, exercised caution and watched traffic in going to and from the school bus. The stop on reaching the Lounsbury home was the third regular stop Mr. Wright had made Monday to permit students to leave the bus for their homes after attending school in Cass City. The bus brings 35 students to school each morning and takes them to their homes in the afternoon.

Ruth Esther Lounsbury was born June 7, 1922, in Elmwood Township. She entered high school here after finishing eighth grade studies in the Dillman rural school in Elkland Township and earned the honors as a co-valedictorian of her class with an all-A record in her four years in high school. She had received a scholarship in the State Normal College at Ypsilanti and plans had been made for her to pursue a course of study in that institution.

Funeral services were held at the family residence Thursday afternoon. The Rev. Arthur Howard, pastor of the Sunshine Methodist Church, officiated. Burial was in Elkland Cemetery.

Surviving are her parents, four brothers, Leslie and Lyle of Cass City, Harlan and Lynn, at home; three sisters, Jessie, Vera, and Carol, all at home; and grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. N.A. Perry. Mr. Perry is very ill at his home in Elmwood Township.

Miss Lounsbury's tragic death is the second to occur in the family this year. On January 18, her brother, Norris, 21, was crushed under a falling tree and passed away early the next morning in a Saginaw hospital. He was employed in a group of National Youth Administration workers when the accident happened at a roadside park near Vassar.

Emory Lounsbury, the father, was severely injured on December 19 in a collision of an automobile in which he was riding and a team of horses on M-81, near his home.

(Cass City Chronicle, May 10, 1940, pp. 1 & 4.)

Family Members


1922 - 1940




  • Created by: Joann Osgerby Geybels
  • Added: 7 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100338292
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ruth Esther Lounsbury (7 Jun 1922–6 May 1940), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100338292, citing Elkland Township Cemetery, Cass City, Tuscola County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Joann Osgerby Geybels (contributor 46986938) .